The luxurious 240-foot vessel could have had up to 480,000 ounces of gold aboard
TORONTO(BullionStreet): Seattle based Ocean Mar finally allowed to search for the missing gold among the wreckage of SS Islander that sank in 1901.
A U.S. federal court has approved a Washington state company's plan to recover cargo, including any gold, on a Klondike gold rush-era ship that sank en route from Alaska to Vancouver in 1901.
The SS Islander, owned by the Canadian Pacific Steam Navigation Company, plunged to the ocean floor Aug. 15 near Juneau, Ala., after hitting an iceberg.
The luxurious 240-foot vessel could have had up to 480,000 ounces of gold aboard (worth about $720 million) — some owned by the Canadian Bank of Commerce, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.
Seattle-based recovery company Ocean Mar has been in a decades-long legal battle to obtain the rights to the cargo.
Controversy erupted when rival outfit Yukon Recovery filed a restraining order against Ocean Mar in the 1990s, however in April, U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland sided with Ocean Mar because it was determined to have located the ill-fated vessel first.
It remains a mystery if there's gold on board. Analysts are divided over it's gold treasaure as some of them said there were tons of gold, others saw there were boxes of gold.
It's not the first time treasure hunters have attempted to salvage the contents of the steamliner. In 1934, a company raised about two-thirds of the hull, but the front half, where the gold is believed to be broke off and remains on the ocean floor.